Helle Thorning-Schmidt officially handed over the prime minister duties to Lars Løkke Rasmussen on Monday in one of several ceremonies held to usher in Denmark’s new government.
As he took back the office he held between 2009 and 2011, Rasmussen praised Thorning-Schmidt, who served as both his successor and predecessor.
“I think you did really well. I think we have good interaction to a degree that most people do not understand. Politics is often about infighting and hard arguments, but we have also had a good time and we have experienced good results,” Rasmussen said.
In addition to complimenting Thorning-Schmidt on being a good leader for Denmark, Rasmussen said he was impressed by her skills on the home front as well.
“I have enormous respect for the way you deal with your family. Both you and I know that politics can be hard, but to me you seem like a perfect mother who protects her children. Therefore a good outcome of this election is that you have more time for them,” he said before handing the former PM four tickets to Grøn Koncert, a series of one-day family-friendly music festivals featuring popular Danish acts.
It is a tradition in Denmark for outgoing and incoming ministers
to exchange gifts and along with Rasmussen’s four tickets came a ‘selfie stick’, an obvious nod to the selfie with US President Barack Obama and UK PM David Cameron that rocketed Thorning-Schmidt to international fame.
For her part, Thorning-Schmidt presented Rasmussen with various goodies adorned with the flag of Europe.
“I have been a bit worried that you are all alone when it comes to the EU,” she said in reference to the resistance that Venstre’s traditional EU-friendly stance will face from the Danish People’s Party, which came out of the June 18 election more powerful than Rasmussen’s team.
Thorning-Schmidt recommended that the new Danish PM put on the EU memorabilia from time to team in order to “remember that Denmark should be at the core of the EU”.